02/11/2017, 15.20
KYRGYZSTAN
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More and more villages ban the sale and consumption of alcohol

The aim is to preserve a spirit of unity, harmony and peace among villagers. Residents bought alcohol from stores and pour it in a ditch. The move is linked to high rate of alcohol abuse and social problems rather than religion.

Bishkek (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Worried by the high rate of alcohol and drug abuse among young people, residents of the village Ornok (Chon-Sary-Oy district) have decided to ban the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Last week, residents raised US$ 382 and bought all the alcohol available in ten stores and pour it into a ditch.

Local authorities and the district imam backed the anti-booze campaign. Some shop owners voluntarily gave away alcohol for disposal. Grateful, residents gave them a letter of appreciation.

According the Turmush regional news service, neighbouring villages have decided to join the campaign out of a spirit of unity, harmony and peace.

Businesses that did not join the campaign might face closure.

On 23 January, the President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev approved an amendment to the law that bans the consumption of alcoholic beverages in “unsuitable” places such as public places and the workplace.

The law, which came into force at the beginning of February, increases fines by ten times (US$ 14).

About 78 per cent of Kyrgyzstan’s population is Muslim. Religious prohibitions aside, alcohol abuse is mostly related to high rates of poverty and employment.

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